Emeritus Professor of Chemistry

Department Name 
Chemistry, Biochemistry & Physics

Mailing Address 
2083 Lawrence Road, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648

John  Sheats

Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Physical Organic and Organometallic Chemistry

Organometallic Polymers- I am interested in the methods of synthesis, chemical and spectroscopic properties, and application of polymers containing metals as an integral part of their structural backbone. In cooperation with Dr. Charles Carraher of Florida Atlantic University and Dr. Charles Pittman of Mississippi State University I have organized five ACS symposia on this topic. I have also co-edited books arising from each symposia.

The Role of Manganese in Photosynthesis- Photosynthetic oxygen evolution, the process by which plants renew the supply of ion, the process by which plants renew the supply of oxygen in the atmosphere, is catalyzed by a tetranuclear Mn cluster bound to proteins in the thylakoid membrane of plant chloroplast cells. Attempts to establish the structure and chemical properties of this cluster in plant cells has so far proven difficult. We are one of a number of research groups preparing model compounds containing Mn clusters. In collaboration with Dr. Charles Dismukes of Princeton University, my students and I have synthesized a series of binuclear and trinuclear Mn pyrazolyl borate complexes. We have done reactive studies on these compounds and examined their spectroscopic properties by infrared, ultraviolet, nuclear magnetic resonance, electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopies. X-ray crystallography has also provided us with structural information. The structures of two particular compounds are shown below.

Cobalticinium and Rhodicinium Salts- The arylethenyl (I), 1,1'-bisarylethenyl (II) and 1,1'-(2-aryl)trimethylene (III) cobalticinium salts have been shown to possess a high degree of optical nonlinearity. For the past five years we have synthesized a series of these compounds and have characteriounds and have characterized them by IR, UV and NMR spectroscopy and x-ray crystallography. We are attempting to measure the magnitude of their optical nonlinearity and their ability to act as frequency doublers.